Intensive Gardening Introduction

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Bruce of Red Gardens has a good video on his experiences with both double-dug and no-dig intensive gardening:

Though I love what he’s doing here and enjoy double-digging, if you have more land go with wide spacing. Intensive beds are very resource intensive compared to spacing widely. If you don’t water a tightly planted bed you lose your plants quickly, whereas widely spaced crops can often subsist on rainfall alone.

David-the-good-books-revised

7 Ways to Feed Your Garden for Free (now for FREE!)

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Yesterday I decided to release my 45-minute film “7 Ways to Feed Your Garden for Free” on YouTube… for free:

I was quite happy with that film. I have another presentation coming up for this year’s Home Grown Food Summit, provided I can get growing again in time.

The quarter-acre piece of land where we’ll be gardening this year is slated to be cleared by a couple of guys any day now. I was tempted to buy a chainsaw and do it myself, but considering my history with sharp tools, I’ve decided to outsource it.

My plans for planting include Hickory King corn, yams (of course), cayenne peppers, tomatoes, various greens and some of my long-necked Seminole pumpkins.

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Can’t wait!

David-the-good-books-revised

Why Do You Have to Weed?

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Why do you have to weed your garden?

Check out this side-by-side comparison:

Weeding isn’t just aesthetic. When you pull weeds, you reduce the competition for resources in your garden. I accidentally created a demonstration of this when I weeded part of a container garden, then left the rest unweeded.

This is about two weeks later.

Look at the difference! Weed your garden and your plants will do better.

David-the-good-books-revised

Raising Meat Chickens with Marjory Wildcraft – Free to Watch!

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I received this from my friend Marjory Wildcraft today – definitely worth checking out for those of you who aren’t fans of factory-raised chicken. I’ve raised my own meat birds before and the flavor and cost were more than worth it. Much easier than raising hens for eggs, in fact.

 

unnamedOver the years, I’ve met a lot of people who tell me they couldn’t raise their own livestock for meat because they don’t have the heart to kill the animal for food when it’s time.

When I hear this, I remind these folks that this is what community is for.

You don’t need to do these things alone.

Marjory Wildcraft’s new documentary film, “Raising Meat Chickens,” shares a great example of this.

In this film, you have the opportunity to shadow Marjory around her property for eight weeks, as she raises a flock of meat chickens, from egg to table.

She walks you step by step through the entire, often entertaining process…

And near the end, she introduces you to her community approach for processing the birds.

Because as she wisely points out:

We all have hunters in our family.

Even if we’re not hunters ourselves. 

So not only is this film a perfect starting point for anyone interested in raising their own chickens for meat.

Marjory shows you, step by step, how she raises her own organic, free- range chickens.

It’s ALSO ideal for anyone on the fence about raising livestock for meat.

Watch it with your spouse or family or neighbors or friends … whoever might be interested in raising a flock of meat chickens “in community” with you.

And see how you can share the work…

… And the reward!

In my opinion, raising livestock with community is the most honest, humane way to eat meat.

 

Watch The FREE 72-Hour Screening Here.

At the very least, it’ll help you better understand what the process of raising meat chickens on your own property could look like.

Just sign up to watch here, and you’ll be emailed access as soon as it’s available.”

David-the-good-books-revised

Back in the garden

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The rains finally let up long enough for me to get back to gardening and filming videos.

On Thursday I posted an update on my vanilla orchids:

Then today, my progress on the little garden beds:

That set of beds is really a mess. I need to clear the rest and I think I’m going to cut the perennial cucumber vines way back and let them regrow. They’re insane.

I have to be careful in those beds, though, as I have multiple good edibles in there which are also perennials. I probably should have stuck to just annuals in those beds; however, it’s one of the few sunny spots where I can get things going and keep an eye on them.

It feels good to be outside and working again. The rain has truly been ridiculous, plus I’ve had a lot of work indoors that has kept me from gardening as much as I should.

Anything going on in your gardens right now? Get some fall crops in yet?

David-the-good-books-revised

A Week of Rain

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This last week we’ve had so much rain the farm is a sopping wet mess.

Down below the cocoa orchard, the creek is a roaring torrent of muddy water.

Occasionally, the rain has stopped in the lowlands and opened up a view of mountains shrouded in clouds and mist.

It rained for 3 days straight. Mountains are still misty.

A post shared by David Good (@david_t_good) on

But mostly it’s just rained. That kept me from doing much of anything on YouTube this last week.

I’m hoping it clears up a little soon. Mom flies in this afternoon and the baby is almost due. It would be nice to take my very pregnant wife to the beach one last time before the delivery.

Last week I managed to finish my second draft of Turned Earth: A Jack Broccoli Novel and send it out to be proofed, and I secured an artist for the cover.

This is a piece he did for another project:

Yeah, I think that’ll be just about right.

I also worked on the upcoming film Night of the Bahfeemus.

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As you can tell from the screen cap, it’s a deep psychological drama. If I’m lucky, I may actually even finish it. Putting together a movie – even a ridiculous joke one – takes a lot of time.

Along with the movie and the novel, I wrote an article, wrote a newsletter, did my normal daily posts here, worked on a short story for an anthology, managed some various other work and took my wife to the hospital for some tests.

Probably the most entertaining thing that happened this week happened to our sofa.

One of the children sat on it and it collapsed. I pulled it away from the wall and we discovered multiple trails of termites had come up through the floor and into the sofa, completely eating into it and destroying one of the legs.

Okay, that’s obviously not good. I sevin-dusted the termites yesterday but the sofa appears to be a complete loss.

Things fall apart fast in the tropics. Mold grows on the walls, termites eat through furniture and a log in the yard will rot into mush within a year.

Especially when the rains keep humidity levels close to 100%.

 

*           *            *

 

“The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?

When the wicked came against me
To eat up my flesh,
My enemies and foes,
They stumbled and fell.

Though an army may encamp against me,
My heart shall not fear;
Though war may rise against me,
In this I will be confident.

One thing I have desired of the Lord,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord,
And to inquire in His temple.

For in the time of trouble
He shall hide me in His pavilion;
In the secret place of His tabernacle
He shall hide me;
He shall set me high upon a rock.

And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me;
Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle;
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.

Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice!
Have mercy also upon me, and answer me.

When You said, “Seek My face,”
My heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.”

Do not hide Your face from me;
Do not turn Your servant away in anger;
You have been my help;
Do not leave me nor forsake me,
O God of my salvation.

When my father and my mother forsake me,
Then the Lord will take care of me.

Teach me Your way, O Lord,
And lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies.

Do not deliver me to the will of my adversaries;
For false witnesses have risen against me,
And such as breathe out violence.

I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.

Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!”

 

-Psalm 27, NKJV

David-the-good-books-revised

Pumpkin Progress and Failure

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Earlier this week I posted a new video from the downhill pumpkin patch:

Though I pull in some good pumpkins, you can also see that the patch is under-performing – and I am not sure why. I should be getting a lot more. There are large areas yielding nothing.

All the hills were fertilized when the pumpkins started running. They’ve had lots of water and a good bit of sun in between, plus I kept the weeds down for the most part.

I am getting pumpkins, but many of these vines were grown from the seeds of fruit which were much larger than the ones I’m now pulling in.

Vine borers have sown up, but still – even the unaffected vines are mostly making 5-7lb fruit instead of 12-20lb.

My suspicion is that the soil here is not as good as advertised. I’ve been told again and again that the local soil is rich; however, I often had better luck with vegetables in my sandy North Florida yard.

If I owned the piece of ground I’m currently farming, I would dedicate myself to soil improvement via the planting of natural vegetative strips and chop-and-drop plants and trees, plus the addition of biochar and ashes.

I discovered with some exploratory digging that my sweet potato bed near the house is also a failure. It’s yielding a pathetic amount of small tubers, just like the previous bed I harvested earlier in the year.

I kicked tail growing sweet potatoes in North Florida but not here.

And I fed these beds with manure, compost tea, seaweed, compost and even some chemical fertilizer when everything else wasn’t helping.

I’m stumped. Something isn’t right.

David-the-good-books-revised
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